16 weeks

When truth leads to death: the abortion doula’s mission

After many years of immersion in the pro-life world, I believe myself to be rather unshockable. I’ve heard stories that would make you lose your lunch, that would give you nightmares for a week. But this week, my sense of abortion shock was renewed with Alex Ronan’s piece in New York Magazine, “My Year As an Abortion Doula.”

Until recently we simply thought of them as labor coaches. Doulas were the compassionate people helping a woman through childbirth, caring for them so women could be more relaxed in the labor process. Until recently no one thought of a doula as a kill coach. That is, until the term “abortion doula” began rearing its paradoxical head.

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stem-cells

Woman is first to receive next-generation stem cells

A Japanese woman has become the first person to receive stem cells created from her own skin cells. Called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS), these next-generation cells could offer the same regenerative potential as embryonic stem cells, according to Nature: The International Weekly Journal of Science.

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Baby study on computer

TONIGHT: #TacoOrBeer4LIFE social media takeover

Tonight, participants in the “Taco or Beer Challenge” will gather in DC to eat tacos, drink beer, and donate to the DC Abortion Fund. The fund pays for women in DC to be able to kill their children through abortion. The Taco or Beer Challenge is a spinoff of the wildly popular ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Abortion advocate Andrea Grimes, who thought up the abortion-funding counterpart to the Ice Bucket Challenge, said she wanted to offer a fun alternative to pouring a bucket of ice water on yourself.

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First person screened for CF as an embryo in Ireland is born

Cork Fertility Centre in Ireland recently announced what they are calling the first successful birth of a baby screened for cystic fibrosis (CF) in the country. Lisa Cooke and Patrick Mullane are both carriers of the genetic condition and wanted to ensure they didn’t have a child with CF. In order to do so, they went to Cork Fertility Center, one of two sites that performs In Vitro Fertilization with Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis in Ireland. And their request was granted. One child, no CF, was born.

Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis or PGD involves creating embryos for a couple who wants to avoid passing on certain genes to their children. In this case, the couple each carry one gene for CF. They have a 25% chance that each of them would pass their copy of the gene to their child, and that child would then have CF. PGD allows the doctors to screen a bunch of embryos in a lab for CF and then discard the ones that are positive for CF, while keeping those that are free of the condition to use for implantation into the mother.

Cooke and Mullane may have been the first to avoid having a child with CF in Ireland through PGD and IVF, but they certainly aren’t the first in the world. Couples in the United States have been using PGD to avoid having a child with CF for years.

CF is a scary, chronic, progressive, and as of right now, incurable condition. However, it is possible to live a healthy, happy and fulfilled life with CF; adults with the condition prove that every day. In addition, research is advancing at an accelerated pace, with new treatments promising longer life spans. Currently, someone born with CF today has a 50/50 chance of reaching age 40. That’s up from age 8 in the 1950s. What technology holds in CF advancements in the next 40 years could most definitely include a cure.

Anyone with CF was once an embryo with CF. Why would one of those lives be worthy of life, while the other isn’t? That discarded embryo could have been a life-long support to his sibling with CF. He could have been the one person in that child’s life that would have understood what it’s like to actually live with the condition. Only 70,000 people across the globe have CF, and the CF Foundation advises that none of them come within 6 feet of each other, unless they are family, in order to avoid cross contamination of bacteria and germs that can harbor in their respiratory systems. A sibling may be the only other person that child meets with CF.

A couple seeks to use PGD to avoid CF out of hope. I understand that. But there seems to also be fear behind the decision. Fear of taking care of another child with CF. Fear of the unknown. Fear that the children will pass germs back and forth to each other and therefore a second child with CF may risk the health of the first child. They see PGD as a way to prevent any of their future children from dealing with numerous doctor visits and medications and daily treatments. But it won’t necessarily do that. No one is guaranteed good health, CF or not.

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Sherri Shepherd, surrogacy, and the commodification of children

Sherri Shepherd, host of “The View”, made waves earlier this year when news broke that her marriage had broken up. While the news of another celebrity marriage failing isn’t unusual, what made it so alarming to so many people was that Shepherd and her husband, Lamar Sally, had contracted a surrogate to carry a baby for them — and that following Shepherd’s decision to divorce her husband, she had also decided that she was going to have nothing to do with the baby.

People were understandably outraged, and as more news concerning this troubling situation breaks, it only gets more disturbing. The surrogate gave birth to the child on August 5th, and is being raised by Shepherd’s ex-husband, Lamar Sally. Shepherd has had no contact with the baby, was not present for the delivery, and even took him off of her health insurance.

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Kira Kazantsev

Miss America chairman: winner’s Planned Parenthood job makes her a role model

Many Americans were disheartened over the weekend when Miss America judges chose Kira Kazantsev (Miss New York) as the 2014 winner of the pageant. Kira’s red cup “talent” was considered a lack thereof by many viewers. But it is Kira’s history of working with Planned Parenthood that has angered many Americans, who feel she is an out-of-touch representative of this country in her new capacity as Miss America.

In response to the outcry over Kazantsev’s abortion business ties, the Chariman of the Miss America Organization, Sam Haskell, issued a statement glorifying Kazantsev’s position.

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No foot too small to leave its mark – How the life and death of one tiny baby may change the abortion debate

Tiny Adelaide Caines lived only one hour after birth, but her parents are hoping their precious daughter’s life and death will change the face of the abortion debate in the United Kingdom. Literally.

On December 27, 2013, Emily Caines, 24 weeks pregnant at the time, began to bleed heavily and was rushed to Southmead Hospital in Bristol. The medical center there had a special unit for premature babies, something Emily and her husband Alistair hoped could save their little girl’s life. Emily had already lost her first daughter, Isobelle, in 2011, due to preterm labor which began at 23 weeks, so the couple had rejoiced when Emily’s second pregnancy made it to the 24 week mark.

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The birth defect that never was: the story of my son

On a midsummer’s night, he came rushing into the world – in all of his 9 pounds, 6 ounces of glory. When they laid him on my chest, he raised a big baby hand and thudded it down on me, somewhat remniscent of a tiny wolf cub. Below our hospital room, a beautiful statue of Jesus with the children seemed to stand watch – reminding us where this precious boy came from and Who he would always belong to.

The next day, his pediatrician came to visit. She looked him over and declared him healthy – with one potential problem. A potentially big problem. She was concerned that he might have been born with a spinal cord defect that can be related to spina bifida and the tragic diagnosis of anencephaly.

He would live: he was in no danger of losing his life, unless of course, you consider the danger inherent in a serious surgery for a baby.

I am notorious for my focus on the future, instead of the present. And so, for the next three weeks, my mind continually traveled to the time around his first birthday, when my tiny and helpless son might require a surgery to untether his spinal cord.

The consequences of rejecting the surgery?

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Supeme-Court

Myths about Roe v. Wade

As both an active member of the pro-life movement and a law student, I am frequently confronted with the fact that the vast majority of activists on both sides of the abortion debate have many misconceptions about what Roe v. Wade actually says about the legality of abortion. Most of this arises from the fact that they have not read the case themselves, or if they did read it, they were unable to understand it due to a lack of legal training. My goal is to attempt to clear up four of the most common myths surrounding Roe v. Wade, and the legal state of abortion in general, so that our conversations about the issue will be more informed going forward.

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Photo credit: Nagyman on Flickr

Artist exposes female sex-selective abortions with massive sculpting project

To raise awareness about the male gender preference and female sex-selective abortion wreaking havoc on demographics in China and India, French sculptor Prune Nourry created a huge exhibit of clay sculptures of Chinese girls.

The exhibit, on display at the China Institute in New York City, is called Terracotta Daughters. The display looks like an army of Chinese girls. It pays homage to the daughters lost to sex-selective abortions, and Nourry’s focus was on girls from the deep countryside of China, where sex-selective abortions on girls are at their highest numbers.

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Amanda Marcotte’s lie of the day: Lila Rose attacks the equal rights of women

Lila Rose
Lila Rose

In a bizarre article on Salon this week, Amanda Marcotte pins Lila Rose as one of seven women whom she believes are working to “attack equal rights for women.” It must have been backwards day in Marcotte’s universe, because, in fact, the exact opposite is true.

According to Marcotte:

Rose concentrates most of her energies on demonizing Planned Parenthood in hopes of cutting off state and federal funding, so that low-income women lose access to affordable contraception and reproductive healthcare services.

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Pregnant woman

Bombs, bullets, and abortion: Here are the facts that Ilyse Hogue and NARAL Pro-Choice America don’t want you to know

Ilyse Hogue is the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, and she’s a little upset. Yes, I know–that’s nothing new.

What is new, however, is the target of her wrath. When the crowdfunding website GoFundMe.com recently announced that it will no longer raise money to pay for abortions, Ms. Hogue wasn’t pleased. In response, she put out a mass email accusing GoFundMe of subjecting “one in three women” to “stigma, shame, or judgment.” This, she explained, is because the site also prohibits fundraising on behalf of terrorist organizations. According to NARAL’s president, that means GoFundMe must “consider abortion in the same category as terrorism and violence.”

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woman

Sister of two aborted babies says reach out to post-abortive women with mercy

Looking back, Laura believes she’s always known that something was wrong in her family. She felt what she later described as “survivor’s guilt.” When she discovered that her mother had aborted two of her siblings, she realized that her intuitions had been correct. In this interview, she answers a few questions about being the sister of aborted babies.

What were your feelings on abortion before you found out about losing a sibling?

I was pro-life. I hadn’t participated in anything like 40 Days for Life, but I absolutely believed that life begins at conception, and that abortion is murder.

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Surprise, surprise: GAO report finds Obama broke promise on tax-funded abortions

In a bombshell revelation, a nonpartisan watchdog group has revealed that Obamacare insurance exchanges are using federal tax funding to cover elective abortions. As stalwart pro-lifer Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey summarizes it: “The [Government Accountability Office] has found ObamaCare massively funds abortion on demand.”

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GAO report: Americans are funding abortions despite Executive Order

Americans have been deceived by the cheap paper that holds an Executive Order saying no taxpayer funds can be used for abortion, a report today shows. How many abortions citizens have paid for is something that may not be known, but what is known is that despite the words given by the president and promised under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a large number of health plans are covering elective abortions.

A comprehensive report release by the non-partisan US Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed that 28 states have no laws restricting how abortion services are covered, and some don’t even disclose to their insured that they are paying for abortions.

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Kira Kazantsev

Miss America Kira Kazantsev worked for Planned Parenthood

The country watched — some in admiration, many more in shock — as Miss New York, Kira Kazantsev, was crowned Miss America after singing Pharell Williams’ Happy with a red cup, an admitted rip-off of Anna Kendricks’ performance in the film Pitch Perfect. That alone was enough to make many Americans react with indignation and outrage, but when they find out at the new Miss America is an abortion supporter who worked for Planned Parenthood, there is likely to be an even bigger outcry.

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children

Simple ideas for communicating the pro-life message to children

As parents (or kids’ caretakers), we have the opportunity to build pro-life values into them from a young age. Of course, we can talk to them directly about the value of every life, explain things, and answer questions. One day we’ll have to explain exactly what abortion is to them.

But, there are also ways to reinforce pro-life values as we’re living everyday life. For instance, when a baby cries at the store, children are often naturally concerned – not annoyed like many adults are. Encourage that concern and tell children how important it is to care for everyone, especially when they’re helpless like those little babies. Love and compassion for others should always trump our selfish feelings.

Storytime is another prime opportunity to instill pro-life values in our children. In general, it’s important to be selective about which books we choose to read to our little ones. And with a little effort, we can find excellent stories that teach why every life matters.

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Thank God pro-aborts don’t apply their human-rights standards to the rest of us

Pro-lifers are constantly hearing that we don’t really believe the unborn are living human babies threatened by a barbaric evil, which is ironic because pro-aborts themselves don’t fare particularly well on the sincerity scale.

We’ve discussed before how the “woman’s rights” rationale for abortion is mighty suspicious since in basically every other major public policy issue they tend to reject the individual’s rights in favor of the perceived greater good. And they certainly don’t act as if they believe their own arguments in areas other than abortion. Continue reading

gender-equality

Gendercide in America: why the issue hits home

San Francisco Supervisor David Chiu made waves after announcing a proposed city-wide prohibition on sex-selection abortion bans. Chiu’s resolution, co-authored by four female supervisors, states that a moratorium on sex-selective abortion bans would not only reduce ethnic stereotyping, but would increase abortion access. The proposed measure is so radical, it has drawn criticism from pro-abortion proponents even in one of the nation’s most liberal cities.

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boy girl

San Francisco politicians fight to keep sex-selective abortion legal

The problem of sex-selective abortion is a growing one. Over 100 million girls are missing because of it, and that number is rapidly growing. An issue that is commonly associated with Asian countries is also happening in the United States. Because of this, many states have begun banning the practice of sex-selection abortions. But San Francisco is fighting tooth and nail to make sure that sex-selective abortion remains legal there, with San Francisco supervisors leading the fight. Mayor Ed Lee is expected to support the measure as well.

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